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The Workers' Compensation Process in Illinois

DuPage County Work Comp Attorneys

Arlington Heights Workers' Compensation Attorneys

At Newland & Newland, LLP, our experienced attorneys help injured workers obtain the benefits to which they are entitled under the law in Illinois. If you have been hurt in the course of performing your job, you must take action immediately in order to protect your rights. Failure to act quickly could result in your claim being denied.

In order to receive benefits under Illinois workers' compensation laws, you will need to take the appropriate steps.

Step 1: Seek Medical Attention

Whenever you are injured at work, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. This can be done at a doctor's office, urgent care center, or the emergency room. If your workplace has an on-site nurse or offers medical treatment, you could start there as well. Your health should be your top priority, but the documentation of your injuries will be a necessary component of your workers' compensation claim.

Step 2: Report Your Injury to Your Employer

In most cases, you must notify your employer of your injury with 45 days or you could lose your standing to file a workers' compensation claim. There are exceptions to the 45-day rule, but it is important to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer may have specific reporting procedures that you must follow so that your rights to compensation are protected. Your report should include the type of injury and the parts of the body that were affected.

Step 3: Keep All of Your Documentation

As you continue your medical treatment, be sure to keep records of your care. Keep copies of your medical reports, doctors' opinions, bills, pharmacy receipts, and any other paperwork related to medical expenses or treatment. It is also a good idea to keep a journal of your pain levels and how your injuries have affected your daily life.

Step 4: Maintain Contact with Your Employer

If your injury has left you unable to work, you will need to stay in touch with your employer on a regular basis so that you can get updates on the status of your claim. You will also need to make sure that your employer is accurately keeping track of your missed time, though you should also be keeping detailed records. If you are still able to work or you have returned to work before receiving any benefits, you will need to check with your employer to ensure that your claim is being handled properly.

Step 5: Review Your Approved or Denied Benefits

Your employer or their insurance carrier might approve your claim in full or they could deny some or all of it. If your claim is being denied or delayed, an experienced attorney from Newland & Newland, LLP can help you determine what your best course of action should be.

Step 6: File an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the IWCC

If your claim is not approved to your satisfaction, you may escalate the situation by filing an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC). The Application must also be sent to the employer as well. Once the Application has been filed, the IWCC will assign the claim to an arbitrator and set date for the first status hearing. You have the right to ask the arbitrator to work toward a resolution or to request a trial regarding your claim.

Contact a Workers' Compensation Attorney

It is difficult to say for sure where contacting an attorney should fall on the list above, because every case is different. If your injuries were relatively minor, for example, but you might contact an attorney after seeking medical attention and notifying your employer. However, if your injuries were more severe, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer before you speak to your employer to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

If you would like to speak to an experienced attorney about your work injury case, contact our office. Call 847-797-8000 for a free phone consultation today. Newland & Newland, LLP serves clients in Lake County, DuPage County, Cook County, and throughout Northern Illinois.

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